Yankees' Gary Sánchez isn't Fazed by Possibility of Sitting During Postseason
NEW YORK — The Yankees' starting catcher job may be a "day-to-day" decision as of this week, but Gary Sánchez isn't fazed by the developing situation.
Regardless of whether or not Sánchez is behind the plate to start Game 1 of the postseason on Tuesday, the backstop is eager to do whatever it takes to win.
"I don’t focus on just who is behind the plate," Sánchez said through the Yankees' interpreter after a debilitating 4-3 loss on Friday night. "We’re a team and that’s important for people to understand. We have a team here and the bottom line is winning."
Sánchez's sixth season with the Yankees certainly hasn't gone as planned. The 27-year-old was hitting .142 (21-for-148) as of Friday morning, the lowest batting average among big leaguers with more than 100 at-bats in 2020. He's hit 10 home runs, tied for the second-most among his Yankees teammates, but has struggled mightily in finding results on offense all season long.
He got the nod behind the plate in the series opener against the Marlins, working in tandem with left-hander J.A. Happ, and took a step in the right direction by producing just his third multi-hit game of the season. He stroked two singles before being replaced by a pinch runner in the eighth.
Both of the backstop's base hits were hit hard. The knocks off Marlins' right-hander Sandy Alcantara (who pitched a gem Friday night, allowing six hits overall) left Sánchez's bat at 99.5 and 103.5 mph.
Sánchez, who had been staunchly defended all year by both Yankees' manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman, has seen his playing time begin to decrease these last few weeks as backup Kyle Higashioka has put together a solid season of his own, taking advantage of his opportunities.
On Thursday, with Sánchez hitless in his previous 13 at-bats, Boone alluded to the pair of backstops sharing duties behind the plate in October rather than instilling his faith in Sánchez as his primary option.
Asked what he thought of his manager's comments, Sánchez emphasized that the team comes first and he's ready to fulfill his responsibilities, playing "when the time comes."
"I’m a soldier on this team and if my name is on the lineup, I’m going to be ready for that," Sánchez said. "If I’m not starting, I’m going to be ready on the bench for whenever my team needs me."
To keep up with all of Inside The Pinstripes’ coverage, click the "follow" button at the top right-hand corner of this page.